Thursday, 24 November 2011

Extradition Lawyers Debate with Review Panel on the Eve of Westminster Hall Debate

A small group of us affected in some way by extradition from the UK to the US attended this educational event on 23rd November.We expected this would bring us an opportunity to ask questions of the Review Panel as well as inform us more about the rationale for the Review conclusions. Present were Melanie Riley from Bell Yard Communications, David Bermingham who was extradited himself to the US several years ago, Amna, sister of Babar Ahmad, myself and Chris Tappin and his wife, Chris is also fighting extradition to the US. Richard's own barrister Ben Cooper was there, Ben is also barrister for Babar, Chris and Gary Mckinnon.

David, Amna and Chris were able to ask questions of the Panel and not always received satisfactory answers. The review team clearly had no intention of considering the Human cost of extradition and even though Anand Doonay said that extradition should be the last resort rather than the first consideration -This was not put  in the Review!
A notable comment during this public event from Sir Scott Baker was that the UK Government when making any amendments to the current extradition act could apply those changes retrospectively if they wished to do so.

Whilst mingling with the other people in attendance who were mostly lawyers and barristers it became even more apparent that many lawyers and barristers are unaware of the impact that the threat of extradition has on a victim and his family. Needless to say we took every opportunity to make them aware of this

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